Luke Trayser

Not that I disagree with much of your observations but you fail to miss the real issue that most people have with clapping.

  1. It’s a useless replacement on its own. It conveys enthusiasm, instead of quality.
  2. It values pandering your followers, instead of giving them something to think about or allow for a discussion to take place. You no longer want someone to think your piece is good but to think it’s the most brilliant thing even written — you don’t want a clap but an applause.
  3. You don’t have balance. You can have 10 readers that liked what you wrote but only 4 of them applauded it, with one of out of the four becoming a raving fan of your piece and giving it 50 claps. You actually don’t know how your piece stands in comparison to your other pieces. Not from a glance, anyway.
  4. You rely on emotional weight, rather than on intellectual weight. In order to get high enough number, you will word your sentences in a certain way and try to achieve a more emotional reward from the people reading the piece.
  5. As a metric, a true/false rating system is much more accurate than a x/10 system. People tend to fail in evaluating the quality and usually make a random decision.

I think Medium mistake is replacing the existing system, instead of adding it as an option. There is also a question of limits, that they didn’t really put too much thought about.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.